The Southern Poverty Law Center calls him “The Puppeteer”. Michigan doctor John Tanton is behind more of America’s anti-immigration organizations than you would think. It is really creeping me out how the animus of one person could spawn such a powerful hate movement. The more I read and see of the current anti-immigrant movement, the clearer it becomes that it is simply where old-school racists have come to shelter in a society that is hostile (well, more than previously at least) to open statements of racial animosity. Their race-based fears are given the cover of a supposedly race-neutral patriotic intent, and a professed concern for the “law” hides a concern for racial purity and cultural hegemony.
Then you have John Tanton. According to the SPLC, he founded, funded, or provided leadership to a who’s who list of nationalistic hate groups: American Immigration Control Foundation, American Patrol/Voice of Citizens Together, California Coalition for Immigration Reform, Californians for Population Stabilization, Center for Immigration Studies, Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, Population-Environment Balance, Pro English, ProjectUSA, The Social Contract Press, U.S. English, U.S. Inc.
Along with a small handful of wealthy donors and sympathetic politicians (Tom Tancredo!), he has crafted a movement which if not massive in membership is at least massive in influence.
Read this article about Mr. Tanton to learn more than you ever wanted to know about the inner workings of the anti-immigration movement in America.